vegetable and chickpea couscous with moroccan spices
3 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, cut into small dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups vegetable stock (or stock of your choice), warmed
3 small zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch thick half-moons
1 red/orange/yellow pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch squares
2 tsp dried herbes de provence
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking couscous (i prefer whole grain)
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 large plum tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch squares
salt and pepper
for ras el hanout
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp each: ground black pepper, ground allspice, ground nutmeg, ground cardamom, ground cinnamon, ground turmeric, ground coriander, ground cloves, and ground red pepper flakes (if you don’t have all the spices, just add whatever you have!)
1. for the ras el hanout, mix all ingredients in a small bowl.
2. heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a large dutch oven or pot over medium heat. saute the onions, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden, 6-8 minutes. add garlic and cook, stirring, another 2 minutes.
3. add the warm stock, stir in the ras el hanout, then add the zucchini. bring to a brisk simmer and cook, partially covered, for 3 minutes. add the peppers and simmer for another 4 minutes. do not let the vegetables get fully tender.
4. turn off the heat. stir in the couscous, chickpeas, herbes de provence, and 1 tbsp olive oil. mix all ingredients well in the pot. cover and let stand 8-10 minutes, until the stock is absorbed (or a bit sooner if you like a brothier dish). everything will be perfectly tender.
5. stir in the tomatoes and serve immediately, with a drizzle of olive oil if you like. add salt and pepper to taste.